Shoba Narayan

Shoba Narayan is Bangalore-based award-winning author. She is also a freelance contributor who writes about art, food, fashion and travel for a number of publications.

Articles by Shoba Narayan

Bengaluru’s tribal fierce goddesses

As an Indian woman brought up with the expectation that women are the keepers of harmony within family and community, I find these fierce goddesses liberating

Hindu goddesses are thought of as “mothers,” givers of prosperity like Lakshmi, and the Sita who accepts everything. What happened to the fierce goddesses like Kali, who could give us permission to invoke the warrior within us? (HT Archives)
Updated on Nov 23, 2023 09:20 AM IST

Looking inside one of Bengaluru’s subcultures

Nature is central of India’s civilisational ethos. It is central to our faith, festivals, mythology and iconography

Crowd at flower market ahead of festive season at KR Market in Bengaluru. (PTI/Representational Image)
Updated on Nov 09, 2023 08:48 AM IST

When will a Kannadiga character appear in Bollywood?

The soft power that comes from Korean television serials, its music and fashion is a long way off for Bengaluru because like it or not, we are still a city with a programming, engineering mindset that values dot.coms more than connecting the dots in a creative imaginative fashion

A crowd of people waiting in line to get movie tickets outside a cinema hall. (AFP)
Updated on Oct 30, 2023 06:56 AM IST

Goddess energy in city

Aachar & Co is a breath of fresh air. Here too, women play to stereotypes (all the girls want to get married, which is perhaps true of that age), but they aren’t opaque lacklustre heroines created only to please men

For nine nights, it is believed that Goddess Durga descends from the heavens and conquers evil, the author says as she draws contrast with the show Aachar & Co. (HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 13, 2023 09:08 AM IST

Is beer the butter chicken of Bengaluru?

You have to try and visit one of the 85 craft breweries in the city to witness the craze of beer among Indian, especially Bengalureans

No other alcoholic beverage other than beer has been able to forge such a huge fan base among the Indians– and Bengalureans. (HT Archive)
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 08:38 AM IST

What is distinctive about the Bengaluru art scene

Owner of Gallery Sumukha wonders the reason behind an absence of anyone from the IT industry in Bengaluru’s rich art scene

Gallery Sumukha’s owner says they never had anyone from the IT industry as a visitor. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 22, 2023 10:44 AM IST

Students leaving home for college and the accompanying checklist

Parents put in efforts to figure out the “university list” of things to pack as their offsprings all over the country leave home for college within India and all around the world

Right about now, thousands of students all over India will be leaving home for college within the country or all over the world. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 24, 2023 07:50 PM IST

How to negotiate and get things done in B’luru

Moving to a new city, like Bengaluru, can be challenging when it comes to getting things done. Negotiating with government officials and finding the right tailor are just some of the hurdles. While bribes are an option, some choose to use alternative methods, like numerology or gifting educational books and fabric. Social media makes shopping easy, but finding a tailor requires more effort and negotiation skills. The key is to have multiple options and be willing to switch if necessary. Brinksmanship is also a common tactic in various situations.

I know women who come all the way to the Commercial Street to stitch their clothes because it contains a concentration of talent and fabric material, says the author (Hemant Mishra/ Mint)
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 12:33 AM IST

Walking the talk about Inclusion

But what about inclusion and diversity—something every brand talks about today. Talk is cheap though. What counts is putting your money where your mouth is.

Shoba Narayan (HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 20, 2023 01:00 AM IST

The Kannadiga obsession with khara-bhaath

The bhath has the consistency of thick porridge and you could argue that this is the Kannada comfort food.

Shoba Narayan (HT Archives)
Updated on Jul 06, 2023 12:38 AM IST

Why do so few outsiders bother to learn Kannada?

“Linguistic jingoism only happened after the states were reorganised by language. Before that, the borders were much more porous.”

Learning Kannada could open up Bangalore for you in ways that you cannot imagine. (HT photo)
Updated on Jun 22, 2023 01:08 AM IST

Better than bhel puri: Girmit or mandakki

To understand the hold that girmit or churmuri has on people from Karnataka, you have to understand that it is not just a recipe. It is an ecosystem

To understand the hold that girmit or churmuri has on people from Karnataka, you have to understand that it is not just a recipe. It is an ecosystem. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 08, 2023 01:19 AM IST

What kind of a coffee drinker are you?

My divide is much more nuanced and connected to those of us who wake up to filter coffee every morning. The question is: where do you buy your coffee from?

Shoba Narayan (HT Photo)
Updated on May 10, 2023 12:29 AM IST

Is the Kannadiga sambhar overrated?

Most restaurants in Bangalore do not serve sambhar with the dosè. Thank God, I say because I think the Kannadiga sambhar is overrated

Shoba Narayan (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 26, 2023 12:39 AM IST

How to spot a Bangalorean

But even the firebrands from other regions of Karnataka and other states calm down when they come to Bengaluru. Why is that? For a city of some 12 million, Bangaloreans are among the most genteel and polite people in India, if not the world

Shoba Narayan (HT Archive)
Updated on Apr 13, 2023 12:33 AM IST

10 mind blowing things about B’luru’s history

So you see, don’t dismiss this city as merely modern. It is as modern and cosmopolitan as it gets, but it is also an ancient settlement.

Shoba Narayan (HT Archive)
Published on Mar 30, 2023 12:24 AM IST

Why do Bangaloreans like single-colour chutneys?

To verify my theory about Kannada food minimalism, I crashed weddings in Basavanagudi, Chamrajpet, Jayanagar and Malleshwaram

Shoba Narayan (FILE)
Published on Mar 16, 2023 01:08 AM IST

Why Bengaluru’s traffic makes it the startup capital of India?

Do a search on India’s startup capital and two cities come up: Bengaluru and Delhi

Why Bengaluru’s traffic makes it the startup capital of India?
Published on Mar 02, 2023 12:47 AM IST

The chef as an artist or businessperson?

Chef Manu Chandra, who has many well-wishers in Bengaluru, has opened Lupa, his first entrepreneurial venture

Shoba Narayan (FILE)
Published on Feb 16, 2023 03:08 AM IST

Which breakfast is better? Kannada or Tamil one?

I may be wading into the Kaveri here, but a question arose recently in a mixed group about whether the Karnataka or the Tamil Nadu interpretation of the classic idli-dosa breakfast was better.

Shoba Narayan (HT Archive)
Updated on Feb 04, 2023 12:24 AM IST

Where can you go to shop in Bengaluru?

This is one of the most frequent questions I get asked by visiting friends: where do you shop in Bengaluru?And the answer in the great Indian tradition is “Depends on what you want to buy

Shoba Narayan (HT)
Published on Jan 17, 2023 11:55 PM IST

The delicate art of maintaining friendships

“Okay, I am going to reveal a vulnerability,” confessed a friend during a recent New Year’s party

Columnist Shoba Narayan (HT File)
Updated on Jan 10, 2023 04:35 PM IST

Counting my numerous Bengaluru blessings

Frankly, I find it exhausting to narrow down on things everyday that you are thankful for. Taking stock once a year is more doable. So here are the things that I am grateful for, about living in Bengaluru.

Shoba Narayan (HT Archive)
Published on Dec 22, 2022 12:19 AM IST

An art institution that deserves to be celebrated

Every public arts institution in India these days says that it wants to be inclusive, but most never achieve this goal. Most end up as containers of beautiful objects, a space where an elite few stand silently in contemplation of works of art.

Shoba Narayan (HT Archive)
Published on Dec 06, 2022 11:32 PM IST

Bengaluru’s Shivaji Nagar and its myriad hues

Much like any other global city, Bengaluru is composed of neighbourhoods, each with its own unique charm.

Shoba Narayan (HT archive)
Published on Nov 26, 2022 08:25 PM IST

Bangalore Talkies: How do you find things that you are not searching for?

It began with glass bangles, a uniquely Indian ornament. I don’t usually wear glass bangles, unlike my mom, who loves them and wears them everyday.

Bangalore Talkies: How do you find things that you are not searching for?
Updated on Nov 10, 2022 02:12 PM IST

Bengaluru’s secret neighbourhoods to beat post Diwali blues

I once wanted to live here because Basavanagudi, along with Malleshwaram, is the portmanteau (combining two words to make up a new word) that gave R.K. Narayan’s fictional town of Malgudi.

Shobha Narayan (HT Archive)
Published on Oct 26, 2022 12:31 AM IST
ByBy Shoba Narayan

How do you make friends in a new city?

Say you move to a new city

Shoba Narayan (HTArchive)
Published on Oct 12, 2022 11:51 PM IST

Travel: A whale of a time

“In the winter, it is like a whale highway,” says Captain David Higgins, as he steers the large sailboat towards Manly Beach off Sydney Harbour in Australia

The roof of the Sydney Opera House lit up in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth
Published on Oct 08, 2022 12:56 AM IST
ByShoba NarayanShoba Narayan

Bengaluru, a treasure trove of diverse weaves

I am a ‘Trishanku’, by which I mean that I stand between Chennai and Bengaluru with respect to my allegiances.

Shoba Narayan (HT Archive)
Published on Sep 29, 2022 12:05 AM IST
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